Beatport Next: ANNĒ is Advancing Greece’s Techno Scene
Beatport Next: ANNĒ is Advancing Greece’s Techno SceneApril 5, 2023
One of the most exciting talents to have emerged from Greece in recent times, ANNĒ — a member of our Beatport Next Class of 2023 — had her most formative experiences of electronic music as a young and impressionable raver. As you’ll soon read below, her first properly organized techno party was back in 2010 and she spent more time studying the moves and music of the main stage movers and shakers (mainly Miss Kittin) than she did dancing — although she’s rectified all of that since with a passion and a vision for house and especially techno that inspires her to this day. Not only do the Detroit greats mean a lot to her (step forward Carl Craig, Mike Banks, Jeff Mills and Underground Resistance), but ANNĒ is also flying the proverbial flag for Greece with her own adrenaline-drenched productions.
So far, ANNĒ has released on Scotland’s mighty Soma imprint as well as Ben Sims’ legendary Hardgroove imprint for her widely praised Selenic EP. This year, she’s taken part in Mutual Rytm‘s latest V/A, dropped her Trinity EP via Life In Patterns, and remixed PUSHERMAN’s tune “Intolerance” for Suara. As for the impact her own music has on the world ahead of us, ANNĒ’s ethos and ambitions are pretty simple and straightforward: “I want to make an impact through my music and creations.” Finding new ways to print feelings into the grid never sounded so good and while she doesn’t see Thessaloniki as much as she used to, it’s never far from her heart.
Tell us about your formative experience(s) as a raver, when and where did you go?
I used to go to many events especially in my city, in Thessaloniki, from the smaller ones with some great local DJs, in cafe bars, to the bigger ones with guests from all over the global scene, festivals etc. This was just so inspiring to me. The first big event I attended was a festival in 2010 and as I remember well, the first DJ that I listened to was Miss Kittin – and I was listening to the music so carefully. I was listening to the mixing of all the DJs and I was watching every move of them. Sometimes I wasn’t even dancing, just watching! I was completely lost in the music.
How exciting was the scene in Greece growing up?
I would say that in the first steps of my career everything seemed to be super-exciting! Also when I start DJing, I wanted to play in the clubs almost every day. I really loved to play in Thessaloniki and I still love it. It’s my hometown, and the people there have the best vibes. As time goes by though I am more strict in many things, and I see everything differently. Fortunately, the past two years I have been declaring a super-cool improvement of the techno scene in Greece, and I strongly trust the new generations on that. There are many cool collectives that are working on fresh ideas that I can say for sure that will bring Greece to a great position on the global techno map in the near future.
There are some issues though, we need to develop as a country in order to support and maximize the value of the scene! I believe the biggest problem in my country is, firstly, the fact that the infrastructure is not properly utilized so that the country can support or even create a proper underground techno scene. For example, in Thessaloniki, there is a lack of clubs, and the bigger events are taking place in multicultural concert halls & venues, which means that the sound is not properly adjusted for techno music. And the sound is the most important thing in this case. Athens, as a bigger city, is much better. There are more options! There are plenty of parties and events, and there are clubs that can support the scene. Also, in my opinion, there is an obvious lack of meritocracy, but also a strong lack of noble rivalry and cooperation. The scene is limited to a specific pattern and repetitive appearances. I feel that there is a lack of support for each other and this is something that frustrates me a lot. Clearly, these types of standards have worked in Greece for years now, but unfortunately, they are still deeply rooted, even in the younger generations. I have many plans for the near future to help to improve the techno scene here as well.
And similarly, how different is it to you now as you look back on those years as a touring DJ?
Now I am taking everything more seriously! I am more focused on production and my sets. Of course, I am very peaky on my choices and my collaborations. Touring makes you understand a lot of things that you had not even noticed before. It makes you stronger, more patient, more powerful, more professional. I love it because I am meeting new people almost every week and this is so exciting! I am learning the scene, and now I am more mature than back in the day. So my decisions are more mature as well. And this situation brings you closer to what you love the most.
Away from Greece — how important is the techno music of Detroit to you and your techno sound?
If someone listens to my music they can’t say that it’s a Detroit techno exactly but I am always listening carefully to the sound of Detroit and I am taking so many references from there! Detroit techno music combines the cool, detached dance floor beats and textures of European electronic music with the soul and celebration of American funk music. The evolution and ramifications of Detroit techno affected the electronic landscape we’re all familiar with today. I am trying to sharpen my sound between proper techno with strong references from Detroit elements and the 2000s also. Moreover, my inspiration and my love for electronic music comes from this style of music, even house music, by the early 1990s, the first and the second wave of Detroit artists who started to break through, including, among others: Carl Craig, Underground Resistance, Mike Banks, Jeff Mills, Robert Hood, Blake Baxter, Octave One and Jay Denham. I was also playing house, acid house and gospel house music for years.
Your current release is a hi-octane record called ‘Blind’, could you tell us how the track and signing came together?
I remember when I suddenly read a message from Shdw & Obscure Shape asking me for music for this. I was so excited because this label is so adorable to me! This was actually the moment that I realized that I do something good. So I sent them a demo pack with some tracks of mine, and they chose this one. It’s a steady, heavy techno track, with massive low ends and some cool female vocals, running through the groove. It’s an old track of mine, it was produced almost two years before, and I am super-excited that it’s finally found the best place and the best family to be part of!
This is one of my favourite compilations so far. Federation of Rytm II is something huge for me and I am super happy that I am part of it amongst so many good artists.
Finally, what are your musical aims and ambitions for the remainder of the year?
I have so many projects and music to share with you this year. Many great releases are coming from Vas and EPs to remixes for labels like Soma, Hardgroove, Mutual Rytm, ANAØH, Autonome, Frenzy, Warg and more! My musical aim for the remainder of the year and not only for this one is to improve myself and my productions as much as I can in order to reach the perfect quality for me. I am always improving my sound almost every day, and this is what I love the most from techno music. It’s a never-ending situation. You learn new things every day. New techniques, new ways to print your feelings into the grid! It needs a lot of work and patience. My aim is to show to the people my way of thinking on techno music: I want my tracks to have a strong attitude, to be remembered, and to be special. And that is what I want to present this year!